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Parker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Parker Books

Payback / Point Blank / The Hunter (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Steel Hit / The Man With The Getaway Face (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Outfit (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mourner (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Score / Killtown (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jugger (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seventh / The Split (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Handle / Run Lethal (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rare Coin Score (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Green Eagle Score (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Ice Score (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sour Lemon Score (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slayground (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Edge (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Plunder Squad (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Butcher's Moon (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Comeback (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Backflash (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flashfire / Parker (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firebreak (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breakout (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nobody Runs Forever (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ask The Parrot (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dirty Money (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Parker series is a series of highly popular crime fiction novels written by the noteworthy US author named Donald E. Westlake, under the pen name of Richard Stark. This series is comprised of a total of 24 books, which were released between the years 1962 and 2008. Each and every book in this crime fiction series features the lead protagonist in the role of the fictional character named Parker. He is described as a professional thief, who does not have any redeemable qualities and is quite relentless. Author Westlake has shown that Parker does not hesitate to commit murder if someone stands in his way of stealing the thing that he has set his eyes. In addition to the novel series, the character of Parker is seen in a number of movies, portrayed by prominent actors like Mel Gibson and Lee Marvin. However, none of them used the name ‘Parker’ in their films. As far as the book series is concerned, Parker’s appearance is first seen in the 1962 novel, The Hunter. This book is alternately titled as Payback and Point Blank in different publications. Between the years 1974 & 1997, author Westlake did not write any novel featuring Parker’s character. However, Parker goes on to make a comeback in the 1997 novel entitled ‘Comeback’. The last book in which Parker made his official appearance is the 2008 book called Dirty Money. As described by Westlake, Parker is a ruthless criminal. He is very professional and efficient in committing the crimes and takes a deep interest in planning out the things before doing anything. Parker is methodical, cold, and willing to kill if he feels the need to do so. However, he does follow an ethical principle in life, he does not intend to double cross other professional criminals with whom he works, until and unless he feels cheated by them. If anything like that happens, Parker unhesitatingly goes for a brutal and thorough revenge. The first name of Parker has never been mentioned by Westlake in the stories. Also, many other details about Parker remain unknown throughout the series.

On many occasions, Westlake has given hints that Parker might be using the name as an alias. The physical appearance of Parker in the opening sequence of the series is described shaggy and big, with flat shoulders. He has big, curved fingers which look like they have been made of molded clay. Parker has brown hair, whereas his face looks like a chipped concrete chunk. The eyes are similar to that of flawed onyx, and having a quick stroke mouth. When author Westlake was asked whom he sees suitable for Parker’s role, he replied that he had not thought of any actor’s face while creating the character, however he does find him resembling Jack Palance to some extent. In one of the books, Parker undergoes a plastic surgery so as to avoid getting recognized by his enemies. After this, he no longer remains recognizable to most people, who recognized him before. Besides Parker, the other characters who are seen recurringly in this series include Claire Carroll, Joe Sheer, Handy McKay, Alan Gorfield, and Brenda Mackey. Claire is a companion of Parker. Handy McKay and Joe Sheer are the clients for whom Parker carries out professional stealings, although they are not able to contact him directly. Mostly, they take the help of a third party. Alan Gorfield is an actor who works as the associate of Parker on several occasions. He does so in order to support his acting career financially.

An earlier book published in the Parker series is titled as ‘The Mourner’. It was released by the Mysterious Press in the year 2001, after its initial release in 1963. The starting sequence of this book introduces a white colored stature which had a grieving face. Due to the emotional and sentimental value of the statue, Parker did not show any interest in it. Actually, he was more interested in stealing the gun that came along with the statue. He wants to retrieve the gun because he had used it previously in a crime. And if he becomes successful in obtaining the gun, he will get incriminated. When the time finally comes when Parker stands in front of the 16 inch tall gun, known by the name The Mourner, he gets the feeling that stealing the alabaster figurine for a wealthy man and his amoral and beautiful daughter is not that much worriful. The event becomes more exciting when a number of other players join the game with common interests as Parker. Among them is a fat man and the syndicate boys. The fat person seems more interesting to Parker as he finds him too light on his feet that what he appears to be. The game soon turns into a deadly and treacherous one as every thief intends to get rid of the other. Parker knows that he will have to succeed at any cost because everyone else is looking to outplay him and even kill him to get the possession of the valuable gun.

Another interesting book released in the series is called by the title ‘The Jugger’. It was published by the Pocket Books in 1965. At the start of this story, author Westlake has shown that many people are not aware about what Parker does for earning his living. The fact that he is involved in stealing valuable things is kept secret by him from others. One among the few who knows about this fact is Joe Sheer. He is a safecracker, retired from the business, and is well known as a ‘jugger’. Joe seems to be aware of everything about Parker, including his whereabouts, his alias, and his plans. However, Joe knew it very well that he must not open his mouth about any of this or else he might get killed. Joe showed interest in trading whatever he knew with Parker. He wanted Parker to ensure him his freedom. Therefore, Parker decides to pay him a visit in Nebraska and close deal once and for all. However, his real intention is to kill the jugger. When he arrives at the said decided location, he finds that Joe Sheer has already been murdered and buried. Parker finds that a valuable thing is missing and also gets the hint that someone was planning his funeral too. But, the killer did not know that Parker is not someone who could be killed so easily. Too bad for him that Parker has now decided to come after him. Now, he has nothing but to run for his life.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Parker

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